I'm in the final stages of my move from one beautifully-sculpted snail shell of a home to another, and I want to drop in with news of an independent film project dealing with myth, which is currently in production. You may recognize the artist & director, Lisa Stock, as one of the authors of The Cobweb Forest - if you had the great fortune to be following that multimedia project last year. If this is your first introduction to Lisa's work, I recommend visiting her site at www.inbytheeye.com.
Titania is the first of three films collectively titled Medisaga, to be followed by Purgatory and Neptune. The first film is a beautiful conflation of A Midsummer Night's Dream and the story of the Armless Maiden. I copy Lisa's description of Titania here:
After having her wings violently torn from her body Titania is confined to the grounds of her estate. Natural law dictates that if she were ever to leave the grounds of her home and venture into the forest she would die -- hunted and slain by the harpies who inhabit the woods. When her son is kidnapped by his father, and no one is able to help, she has no choice but to face her greatest fear and defy the edict that binds her, and keeps her alive.
The stuff of great fairy tales, yes? Lyrical and edgy, the series promises a weaving together of threads of folktale and fairytale and Dante and lived experience. Lisa Stock has generously made a series of screen test video clips available on youtube and (as higher resolution downloads) from her site. Take a look at this visual poetry:
The beauty of the screen test is that we get to see the artist in the midst of her work, her hands still wet from her paint - and the glimpses we catch as those colors come together are beautiful and tantalizing - yet also demanding: both a seduction of and a partnership with the viewer.
The promise of Medisaga is that through the three films, the protagonist "will learn what it takes to finally be whole again," as a woman who has passed through grief, suffering, captivity, loss. It is a project thematically in vein with the earlier Cobweb Forest. Lisa Stock's work recurrently addresses the questions of the woman's journey, recognizing in the heritage of fairy tales, with their feminine protagonists and their examination of the crises of a woman's life, a vehicle for exploring and celebrating the growth of a woman (even as much of modern fantasy fiction and cinema, with its frequent focus on male protagonists and quest narratives, has offered a vehicle for writers to explore the man's coming of age and discovery of masculinity).
I am excited to see the completed films. The work Lisa Stock and her actors and colleagues are doing on this project is all the more considerable when one knows that the woman whose life and thoughts were the key inspiration for the series died during the fall, and the work continues in tribute. For more screen tests, go here, and to support the filming of the Medisaga (no small project) either financially or with eager expressions of interest, go here.